Updated: May 20, 2021
Content Warning - if you prefer to read only positive birth experiences, you may want to skip this one. Here at Madoula I do believe all experiences are valuable and I share all kinds of experiences, but I like to let you know if you're pregnant and avoiding difficult stories, this one may not be for you.
Jessie*, a British woman living in Madrid, gave birth in 2017 at Hospital Universitario Rey Juan Carlos in Móstoles. She chose this hospital because it was the closest to her home at the time and she liked the private rooms and birthing pool options.
I had a vaginal birth. An 8 hour labour which was very painful from the first hour and at 1.5 cm dialted, I was given pethadine via an IV as a form of relief (which eventually didn’t relieve any pain but in turn, knocked me out for a little while and I felt completely ‘out of it’ for the next 6 hours, still feeling every inch of pain). I wouldn’t have this treatment again as I didn’t feel in control of how I was feeling.
Luckily, it was a straight forward birth however, with entering the hospital at 1cm dialated with extreme pain, they soon sent me home and told me I would probably give birth the next day and to ‘take paracetamol and rest’ at home. Their only assistance was to administer pethadine and they soon became angry and confused as to why I couldn’t remain seated on a monitor when in so much pain, having questions thrown at me such as ‘don’t you care about your baby?’ and ‘why do you feel you’re in so much pain?’
I returned to ‘Urgencias’ 4 hours later with my son crowning and after almost giving birth in the car on the way back to the hospital. This lack of pre-care and assertiveness from a very young, possibly inexperienced, doctor was the reason I had a very uncomfortable and chaotic labour. She was also quite rude which didn’t help the situation at the time. The after care at the hospital was however, good. The midwife who delivered my son was also young but very calm and reassuring, although she didn’t have to assist much as the birth was extremely quick by this point.
Once in my room, the nurses at the hospital assisted with breastfeeding and showed me how to wash the newborn. They also came to check on us regularly. Being a relatively new hospital, the sizes of the rooms are great and there is an extra bed for one person to stay over. There are also birthing pool rooms, which unfortunately I never got chance to experience but would’ve liked to.
Did you feel supported in your chosen method of feeding your baby?
I feel as though I didn’t have much of a choice with this as, as soon as I gave birth, my son was searching to feed and he latched on. It was always my plan to breastfeed but I had to learn very quickly as that was the very first thing he did.
I was shown a couple of times by the nurses at the hospital how to do this but generally learnt myself, once at home. My partner at the time preferred this option. I didn’t feel supported at night times as he wouldn’t want to be woken up when baby would wake for feeding and we would have to leave the room. I was up and alone most nights with the new born. The doctors were quite supportive at check- up appointments, asking me to show them how I was breastfeeding and giving advice.
Thanks for sharing, Jessie!
*Jessie's name has been changed for privacy
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